Travelers “Drifters”

Ad of the Day – 10/15/09

Fallon floats a flock of artful, big-budget spots for Travelers Insurance. Whether you agree with the mega-TV strategy or not, this latest 60-second ad, “Drifters,” is a showstopper. Directed by Frank Budgen of Gorgeous Films, with Ellen Kuras as co-director of photography, it is indeed gorgeous. (Angus Wall of Rock Paper Scissors handled the fluid editing.) The idea is simple and abstract: that Travelers, as represented by a flotilla of the brand’s trademark red umbrellas — shown open and floating in the sky — can protect your home, car and business. In the wrong hands, of course, the umbrellas could appear ominous, like a swarm of locusts, or something out of Hitchcock’s The Birds. Instead, the spot offers a languid look at the protective devices gently floating over the country — spanning oceans and ponds to canyons and cities and some of the shadowy places in between. The music flows, too: the track is “Worries” by folkie Langhorne Slim. “I’ll take you along,” he sings, in a great match to the sweeping visuals. In the end, the umbrellas blanket a car that looks like it has some miles on it, and also land on an attractive, but still modest, Arts & Crafts bungalow, forming a delicate red-roof shield. Attention getting and solid, the clip wordlessly conveys that there is still light, hope and even beauty left in life’s journey. –Barbara Lippert